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Panther Head Coach John Howell Going Against Greenfield-Central for First Time
February 6, 2008 - Knightstown’s varsity boys basketball team will get another true test Thursday night when they travel to Class 4A Greenfield-Central. Despite a record of 3-13 this season, the Cougars are playing some pretty good basketball.
The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Panther head coach John Howell, who used to don the Cougar uniform when he was a high school basketball star for Greenfield-Central.
Thursday night he’ll be coaching against the team and school he used to represent. Despite being a head coach for nine years, this is the first time he’ll face his alma mater.
“For me it’s going to be pretty neat to coach against them,” Howell said. “I played high school ball there, and when I was in college I helped coach their freshman team.”
Howell said it’s important that his Panthers not get fooled by the larger school’s 3-13 record.
“Even though they have only won a few games, they are a very dangerous team,” Howell said. “They can hit you with a variety of defenses and can press well. They are a very athletic team.
“We’ve got to get back to what we do well. We’re not a good team when we do one pass and shoot. We went through the game tapes and the kids saw that. I can handle it if we don’t come out on top, if we just play well. We didn’t do that against Blue River.”
The Panthers should have a much better idea of how prepared they are for a run in the state tournament after the game at Greenfield-Central.
After starting the season 0-9, the Cougars have gone 3-4. They picked up their first win on January 4 against Mt. Vernon, 62-38. In that game the Cougars went on a 25-0 scoring run. Knightstown lost to the Marauders 66-57 on January 19, just two weeks later.
Greenfield lost a double-overtime game to Richmond, 96-93, in the season opener, and went on to lose nine straight.
But after the win over Mt. Vernon, the Cougars have turned the corner. They got a 77-74 win over Shelbyville, and lost tough games to Pendleton Heights, Eastern Hancock and Delta. Saturday night the Cougars stopped Greenwood 57-51.
Greenfield-Central is one of the few Panther opponents that has fared extremely well over the years. The Cougars have won 10 of the last 14 times the teams have met, although Knightstown had gained a 3-3 split over the last six years.
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